REVIEW Para Vayu gave an engaging performance

Vayu (Wind) as it was known earlier and now Para Vayu (Beyond Wind) is an eccentric lot. Salt and pepper haired, physics graduate and lead guitarist, Ravi Iyer is pursuing music full-time and this band is his baby. While the tall, lanky IIT geek and Hindustani music singer and lead vocalist, Soumitra Bhat runs a business on the side. The Goan six-stringer, Crosby Fernandes had played music with Leslie Lewis, Sharon Prabhakar, Talat Aziz, Sunita Rao before landing up in Para Vayu. Newbies and products of St. Xaviers in Mumbai, Aditya Ashok plays the drums and Crehyl Pereira works the keyboard.

The band played in the city as a part of their Soul Alive album tour. The album is a compilation of nine tracks, recorded live.

After Hyderabad the band is all set to rock the stages in Mumbai, Bangalore and Delhi. The band has been in the loop for about 14 years now and plays anything between classic rock, alternative, progressive, blues and funk.

The band opened to a rather empty venue, but set the tempo high with great control over the music and supporting vocals to get the sound going.

Ravi Iyer showed some fancy guitaring with a whole lot of substance in it. The music has a raw feel to it glazed with funky tones. The band followed suit into a progressive rock format. The band mostly played music from their live album, Soul Alive. Songs like Save my world, Broken brother were exceptional.

The music stood out with out-of-the-box tunes. They also incorporated jazz in a clever fashion. Plagued by technical difficulties, the band recovered within minutes, only to see the crowd looming large. Affected was full of energy and attitude. What really worked for this music group was its diverse sense of musical style and eclectic mix of sound. Almost all their tunes were peppy and high on fun.

The interludes were remarkable. Aditya Ashok on the drums gave a sound footing, while Ravi Iyer almost stole the show with his funky Lennon shades and crazy solo strumming. Even Crehyl Pereira showed promise on the keyboard and provided great support. Heavily influenced by Pink Floyd, Para Vayu enthralled the audiences with their cover of Shine on you crazy diamond. It was every bit as the original, including the long-drawn addictive guitar solo. Towards the end, the group managed to impress everyone right from the bartenders to the old-timers and the denim endorsing college kids. This band with its diverse spirit of composing music is sure worth a listen!